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Lights not working correctly


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I bought a house that had an Insteon system- 15 light switches and one 8-button controller.  The ISY controlling the system was taken by the owner.


I bought an ISY994i ZW-Pro and PLM


I read the quick start and watched the Youtube videos.

I'm not a computer idiot.


When we bought the house the Insteon switches (without a controller) all correctly turned the lights on and off and dimmed them appropriately.


I started the link process and went around the house.  I held the set button on each switch for up to 5 seconds until I heard a beep.  I methodically went through the area connecting the switches and confirming on the screen of the Universal Devices Controller Console that each device had connected.


I then finished with "add the link and remove existing links".


After doing this, several of the lights do not work correctly:


Some of the lights I can turn on and off both manually at the switch and using the console.  They will also dim manually or with the console.


Other lights do not operate either at the switch or console.

When I turn these lights on with the admin console, I hear the switch click and the LEDs move to the top of the switch, as if the light was being turned on.  The console displays the lights at 100%, yet there is no light.

They were working correctly before I linked them to the system.


One set of lights, which is connected through the 8 button switch and with dimmer switches will only work with the 8 button switch and not the dimmer switches.  I can dim them through the console, but not with the switches.


I did a factory reset of the ISY, then shut it off.  The lights still did not work correctly- the ones that did not work correctly with the ISY in place would not light at all with the ISY off.


I did another factory reset and reinstalled all the switches per the instructions.  In addition to what was already working, I gained one set of lights.  But, I still have many that don't work correctly or at all- with the ISY/PLM working or shut down.




PC with Windows 10

Universal Devices ISY994i- ZW Pro

Very strong wireless and signal throughout the house.  Less than 50 ft from the PLM and ISY to the farthest switch.  There is no relation between distance and function.  One of the switches less than 10 ft from the ISY/PLM does not work at all, now that the system is up.

The ISY and PLM are both new- purchased through Universal Devices. 

The switches all worked correctly prior to installing the ISY

We had a very good home inspection on purchase and all was shown to work correctly.


I appreciate any help anyone can give.






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It sounds to me that, prior to your introduction of the ISY, the existing switches had some scenes and links already established. Then, when you added the devices to the ISY and chose the "remove existing links" option, those existing scenes were wiped out. I dont think anything is broken, but you will have to recreate the scenes that existed before, or create different ones if you prefer things that way.


Most likely, some of your switches are wired directly to a fixture and some are not. If you have a switch that used to control a light but now does not, that switch is probably not directly connected to anything. My guess is that those switches, before ISY, were linked to other insteon switches that WERE connected directly to a fixture.


Lets start with one of your examples...the 8-button keypadand dimmer switches. If the dimmer switches befor ISY controlled the same light as does the keypad, then they were linked together (and got wiped when you added them to the ISY). To recreate what was there, you would most likley create a scene in the ISY admin panel, and add the keypad main button, and the dimmer switches, all as "controllers".


There is a learning process one must go through with the ISY. Be sure to check out the wiki and user manuals.


I am curious, however. If everything was working, why did you feel the need to add an ISY? Did you have something you wanted to accomplish or change?

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If you successfully used the procedure to replace the PLM, then what you experienced is normal and expected. In retrospect, keep existing link would have been the correct choice, but what you did may be even better. It will allow you to customize the Insteon network to your choosing, similar to a remodel. And it will be a fantastic learning experience.


Wired Insteon switches function exactly as do wired standard switches, wire them correctly and they turn the load on and off and dim the load if the device is a dimmer. Nothing else is required. That's why some of your switches work as expected. But they can do more. For example, a device can control a load even if it has no wired connection to the load, usually referred to as a virtual 3-way configuration. These are the switches/buttons that are not working. Not a problem!


In order to have a switch not wired to a load (e.g., fixture, lamp, etc) control a load, it must be linked to the device that does control the load. That's called a scene. More specifically, a scene is when one or more Insteon device controls or responds to one or more other Insteon devices.


The ISY makes creating scenes easy. First, double click the scene icon (circle with blue, yellow and green dots) and give it a name (you can change the name later). Drag and drop the devices that you want into the scene. Devices can be a controller or a responder. Controllers are automatically responders. For a virtual 3-way configuration, both devices should be controllers.


The device connected to the load is called the primary device. A secondary device is not wired to anything. A keypad can have one primary button (6-button: top on, bottom off; 8-button, top left, toggle on/off). All the rest are secondary buttons. Those are the buttons on your keypads that don't work as you selected remove links. BTW, connecting a load to an Insteon device is usually optional.


You can try to re-create the prior scenes or have the switches/buttons that don't work control something else.

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All of the above is true.  But doesn't provide you with a lot of immediate help.  Here's the very next steps you should take before you even start reading up on creating scenes in the ISY:


Grab a clipboard and an pencil, go around the house to each Insteon device, and make some notes:

- Location (e.g. "Guest Bedroom", or if more than one switch in the area, something like "Kitchen counter lights - North, middle paddle"

- Actual function (e.g. "main light, dimmer", "ceiling fan, fan on/off", or "no direct function" for switches that no longer operate anything

- Virtual function -- this is a memory exercise at this point! -- what was it that this "no direct function" device *used* to do?


Now in the ISY Console, match up each device with what you have on the clipboard -- you may need a helper to check that the switch clicks or the leds on it move in order to ensure that you have a match in the Console to the actual location you noted on your clipboard.  Name the device appropriately (I use terms in the name such as "Main" to describe the device that actually has the light wired to it, and "slave" or "secondary" to describe the "virtual" switch -- the one that should control the light, but no longer does.


Once you've got all devices identified in the Console, you're more than half-way done.  The rest is just dragging and dropping and setting up scenes to link the various switches together as described in the previous posts -- and all that is done from your computer, no more need to futz about with the switches themselves.

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For the love of Pete....factory reset all your devices, one by one, while you are at the device, and then link them into ISY, following the mwester post above. The ISY link removal has already made a mess of any links inside the devices and a cleaner slate will be appreciated down the road.


Those devices will all have had links to the old ISY and maybe X10 addresses as well, that should  be cleaned out, as well as the CPU firmware reset fresh.

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Larrylix and mwester have offered good advice. My only concern with proceeding much further and offering more detailed advice is that I prefer to better understand WHAT you want to accomplish before advising on the HOW part. I dont believe you will have any problems putting things back in order...nothing is physically broken. I see nothing here to get overly-concerned about. If all you want to do is get back to where you were, this would be a ten minute task once you get past the learning curve about scenes, controllers, and responders.

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Thanks for all your help. 


Larryllix- I think the factory reset of all the devices is what's required.  I think the switches were expecting some program that wasn't there when the original X-10 was removed and replaced with the ISY and PLM.  I have no way of recreating his scenes, since I had no idea what he had done.


Oberkc- The original owner removed the X10 or whatever controller he was using and no controller was present.  I had to add the ISY to start my own automation.

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So, atthis point your immediate concerns are limited to restoring the orignial functionality? Since your system was working before without the ISY, this suggests programs were NOT involved...only scenes


Decide, or try to remember, what each switch did. What light or lights did each turn on before you added the ISY? I suspect you will find that Every fixture is currently controlled by one, and only one, switch and that the switches that currently do not control anything were "virtual" three ways with those insteon switches that DO control something.


Once identified, creat a scene for each set of switches that you want to control a given fixture or fixtures. To each scene add all the switches that currently control those fixtures and those that you want to control those fixtures. Add all as controllers.


To get beyond generalities, I suspect you will need to identify all the switches, what each currently does, what you want each to do, and post back the results.

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